Hearne: Valentine Thumbs Nose @ Car & Driver Radar Detector Test

Mike Valentine Cries Foul on Car & Driver Radar test

Mike Valentine
Cries Foul on Car & Driver Radar test

Why is it that we seldom seem get the entire story?

My theory – and it’s an obvious one – m-o-n-e-y. Which brings me to the January issue of Car and Driver magazine and its first-in-a-long-time Radar Test.

That’s right, fellow traffic scofflaws, over the years Car & Driver has periodically conducted extensive tests of traffic radar detectors for folks who don’t like the idea of spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars, just because they slipped up and were going a few extra miles-per-hour over the speed limit on the way to giving birth or trying to get to a movie, funeral or church service in time to get a little texting in before things got too distracting.

And for those of you who follow such things, engineer geek Mike Valentine‘s detector, the Valentine One has long reigned atop the slagheap of wannabes detectors from Escort (that Valentine co-founded), Bel, Cobra, Whistler and other pretenders to the throne.

Until now.

“Who builds the best high-end detector?” C&D’s headline asks.

Answer: Escort with it’s Passport Max.

However, unlike past C&D detector tests, you’d be hard pressed to find a definitive sentence declaring victory for Passport Max over the Valentine.

This is as close as it gets:

“Although the V1’s range matches or slightly exceeds the Passport’s in some cases, the Passport’s near elimination of false alarms provides a higher level of real world protection.”

That’s it, boys and girls.

So Passport’s the new champ despite Valentine matching or beating it in sensitivity.

Sounds like a pretty tepid endorsement to me. Especially when you factor in that C&D tester Eric Tingwall says in his summary that, “Admittedly, we haven’t put (the V1) up against Escort’s hyper-paranoid RedLine detector.”

Pardon me for asking, but why not?

If the $499.99 Escort RedLine is the shit, why waste our time comparing the longtime champ Valentine to a lesser detector…one that beats it no less?

Permit me to offer a theory:

The reason Car and Driver is downplaying that for the first time ever, longtime champ the Valentine One – that’s been blowing away the competition for like the better part of three decades – is because Valentine is a major advertiser. I mean, so is Escort but…

And in this day and age with magazine and print pubs dropping like flies, the last thing anybody wants to do is piss off a big advertiser…if they don’t have to.

30555952_1389682553762_1024x1024itFlash back with me now though to C&D’s 2002 radar test – when the mag was kicking ad butt – and no such reservations appeared to exist.

“In a perfect world, the ultimate radar/lidar detector would sniff out only police radar or lidar, pinpoint its location, and then concisely communicate that information back to you. Although such a device doesn’t yet exist, the Valentine One comes the closest to that ideal and thus ranks highest in this test of top-notch detectors,” C&D gushed.

Pretty clear, no?

As for the (distant) second place Passport in that test, “The sleek-looking Passport 8500‘s second-place score of 73 is the closest a detector has ever come to the Valentine One in any of our comparisons. That 24-point spread correlates with its price, which is a fourth cheaper than the Valentine.”

In other words, the Passport came in second, but it was a distant second.

ESCORT INC. TICKET PROTECTIONWhat the gang at Valentine Research thinks of Car & Driver’s newest test: Bullhockey.

“It was an unfair test,” says one Valentine Research staffer. “Because they programmed the Escort and they didn’t program ours.”

That refers to the fact that the Passport picked up 9 critical points – in winning by only 3 -in the “selectivity” category that measures false alarms.

In other words, Passport’s far fewer false alarms put it over the top because the tester was too lazy to program the more extensive filter into the Valentine.

So what’s Mike Valentine’s reaction to Car and Driver’s new test?

“He was quite disappointed in their putting out an inaccurate test at the bare minimum,” says the source.

Does Valentine still think the Valentine One is still the top detector?

“Oh, of course,” says the source. “And anyone reading the review should too through deductive reasoning.”

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9 Responses to Hearne: Valentine Thumbs Nose @ Car & Driver Radar Detector Test

  1. grovester says:

    Everyone’s aware that you won’t get a ticket unless you’re going 10 mph over the limit, right?

  2. vienna sausage are canned bieber dicks says:

    who can speed when you’re ridin’ dirty

  3. Kerouac says:

    So, this is how it is… radar detectors help thwart law enforcement, vehicles built to well exceed legal speed limits public thoroughfares & discretion exceed legal limit long as it’s by (only) ?? mph…

    What’s next, texting in theaters though not allowed?

    Silencers to quiet, not suppress guns?

    Fifth Amendment?

    Science, string theorists and yes Serling too are wrong. Nod Rod, there is yet another dimension, one ‘is’ known to man. A dimension as arbitrary as preference & as moot as consequence. It is accountability gone to hell in a ground swell of subjective desire. This is the dimension of self-indulgence, it is an area which we call “will do as I please (gots my rights, man.”)

    I have a better detector, one built in… a ‘conscience’

  4. Bill says:

    They forgot to mention how much more sensitive the V1 truly is, I have used both and the V1 destroys the Max on every band. Also, there is the “V1Connection” paired with the YaV1 app (on google play) and you can lockout false alerts.

    It was a big money pay off by Escort.

    • admin says:

      Escort is definitely far and away the deepest pocket…

      But the tip off that the test was lame was in how weakly it was conducted and reported. In past C&D tests they weren’t shy about calling out the winners and losers.

      It’s pretty clear that in this one they wanted to give it to Escort but they didn’t have the heart (or stomach) to throw Valentine completely under the bus.

  5. Jared Grigg says:

    In recent radar tests by Radardetectorforum.org the Max fell flat on its face vs V1 and a Redline. The Max is horrible and was all marketing hype.

  6. Jared says:

    In recent radar tests by Radardetectorforum.org the Max fell flat on its face vs V1 and a Redline. The Max is horrible and was all marketing hype. The Max is simply a 9500ix with a very small turbo. The V1 and Redline are twin turbos with the Redline taking the edge.

  7. OPKS Jimbo says:

    V1. Don’t leave home without it.

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